- Nationals’ shortstop Trea Turner underwent surgery on his problematic index finger last November. Now, he’s primed to enter 2020 at full strength, he tells reporters (including Mark Zuckerman of MASN). “I’ve started hitting. I can hit with 10 fingers, so it’s good,” Turner told reporters. As Zuckerman notes, Turner played almost all of the 2019 season with nine healthy fingers after fracturing the digit on a hit-by-pitch in the first week of April. The injury hardly seemed to hold him back, as Turner slashed .298/.353/.497 (117 wRC+) with 19 home runs and 35 stolen bases as Washington’s primary shortstop and leadoff hitter.
- Drew Pomeranz had upwards of six offers this offseason, he tells Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Nevertheless, the Padres’ surprising decision to offer a four year deal, coupled with Pomeranz’s enjoyable experience in his prior stint in San Diego, inspired him to rejoin the Friars. As Sanders details, the 31-year-old is a much different pitcher than he was in 2016, when he earned his only All-Star appearance in San Diego. Pomeranz made a full-time move to the bullpen last season in San Francisco, and a velocity uptick and increased willingness to attack the strike zone helped him dominate following a midseason trade to the Brewers.
- Following their extension last week, the White Sox have now invested over $100MM in Luis Robert before his major league debut, observes Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic. As Rosenthal explains, the Sox paid over $25MM in overage taxes while guaranteeing Robert $26MM as an amateur under the prior international spending rules. (Spending on international amateurs was hard capped following the 2016-17 signing period, so deals like Robert’s are no longer permissible). Nevertheless, Rosenthal argues, the extension makes perfect sense for the White Sox. Not only does it grant Chicago an extra season of team control, it creates a ceiling for Robert’s earnings in arbitration, he points out. While Robert was wise to secure the guarantee, Rosenthal opines, the agreement serves as the latest reminder that MLB’s economic landscape drastically underpays players at the beginnings of their careers, when they are likely to be their most productive. MLBTR readers certainly anticipate Robert’s becoming an impact player, with 56% of poll voters forecasting him to exceed 2.3 wins above replacement in his first season.